As our final week of lecture phase is upon us, so is the last book report due date. We could pick any book we wanted and I picked ‘Love Does’ by Bob Goff. Our speaker, Ghaida, asked us in lecture: “If we are not living it, how can we teach it?” The topic is spiritual warfare but we covered a lot more ground than that. Ghaidasaid that if you serve other people, that is the platform for your authority. We use that authority to emphasis the love of the Father. “What is the world hungry for?” she asked us. “Love.”
In Goff’s book he writes “What’s up with equating ‘Bible Study’ with knowing God anyway? Wouldn’t it be a horrible thing if we studied the ones we loved instead of bonding in deeper ways by doing things with them? I’d never want to get married to a girl no matter how much I studied her. I’d rather take her sailing of fishing or eat cotton candy with her on a Ferris wheel.” I think that’s kind of what DTS can be like. Yes, it’s a Bible Study and we have lectures that help us diver deeper into what we do and do not stand for. On paper, it grows our faith. But we could have all watched those types of talks online and joined chat boards and had discussions and read theological books in the comfort of the Barnes and Noble in our own home city. We could have known Jesus just as well there. The thing is, though, we wouldn’t have known one another there. I wouldn’t have met my roommate from Sweden or my church family from Arizona and Switzerland. I think a bigger thing about DTS, at least for me personally, is that by being here, surrounded with people of every age, shape and nationality, I got to go sailing and go fishing and eat cotton candy with Jesus. I get to play football in the mud and stay up past curfew giggling, praying, swapping stories about boys just as often as we do testimonies. I got to sit around the breakfast table and munch silently because it’s just too dang early and sit around the dinner table and discuss our opinions on lecture. With these people I got to stand in chapel and worship together and sit in one on ones together and wrestle together; we got to compete together in card games and indulge in ice cream from Tesco together. Here at DTS I got to learn how to keep short accounts with people I love but haven’t always liked, and I’ve had conversations full of honesty and discontentment that led to an overflow of affection and better communication. I walked away from those conversations convinced that I knew a little more of Jesus’ heart. He wants us to do hard things, for his glory. He wants us to step out of our comfort zones. He loves us too much to let us remain the same, mediocre.
“They saw joy and suffering, triumph and tragedy, and in the end there was just a man, an idea, and an invitation without a lot of details. The disciples were unschooled and ordinary like my kids, like all of us.” Bob Goff writes in his book. YWAMers know a lot about an invitation without a lot of details. “Yet they didn’t need all the details because they were on an adventure with a father who wanted to take them. You don’t need to know everything when you’re with someone you trust. That’s probably why Jesus’ disciples never said they were on a missions trip. I think they knew love already had a name and they didn’t need a program or anything else to define it. We don’t either. The kind of adventure Jesus has invited us on doesn’t require an application or prerequisites. It’s just about deciding to take up the offer made by a father who wants us to come.”
DTS isn’t over yet, and we all still have a lot to learn. But as we head out into Outreach Phase, I am counting my blessings for the time we spent together as a school. We got to go from a group of strangers who took a group picture out in the grass on nice fall day, to a clan, to a tribe, to a family. One who has shared tears and turbulence and hugs and home runs. And this Saturday, we’re setting out for our adventure.